Eskrima Orihinal GM John Mac interview.
Here you have a new interview with GM John Mac, one of the Eskrimadores that has most impressed me for his short distance skills and his maddening Eskrido and of course because his humanity and good work.
His commitment to his Master SGM Cacoy Cañete does not know the equial and of course is above all the miseries that can surround a world commanded by politics and trinkets.
In these complicated moments of confinement I have been in contact with him, to find out how he was and I asked him to do a new interview for the blog, as he always agreed immediately.
I repeat, I have met very few eskrimadores with the quality of GM John Mac, he understands the short distance as few, he is the only FEW who REALLY managed to develop ESKRIDO with the efficiency demanded by Manong Cacoy.
Things are as they are…
How is confinement being lived there in Cebu? Is everyone okay? We know there are many older teachers and they must take care of themselves.
Its really tough situation right here at the moment because we are very unprepared for this kind of Pandemic crisis. Its a 3rd world country majority is in a lower class and the poor people meaning most of us fall on a No Work No pay scheme. So for staying at home for a month is already very difficult , in terms of necessity and financial capability. The government imposed a 6 week home quarantine but because of the covid 19 spreading infected áreas are increasing daily. There is a big chance the Enhancement Home Quarantine will be extended. As for the older teachers well senior citizens are permanently home quarantined because of their vulnerability. I pray that the older teachers are in good health.
Right on this line the next question goes. Now we have to train alone, What should we focus on? Is solo training in eskrima important?
As for Me I like to focus on my Eskrido and Sparring striking skills and also I would like to train my left hand as much as I can even without a sparring partner.
Solo training is as important so as not to lose your Ideas and skills in Eskrima.
Amara / Karenza how should it be practiced to be beneficial in our Eskrima training?
One should keep reapeating the basic moves of Amara/ Karenza to be beneficial in our Eskrima training that way it will sharpen our speed and timing and also it would help to maintain the flexibility of our wrist.
How did Cacoy work alone (if he did it), and what was his preferred routine?
He did a lot of Amara and tire hitting and also pumping by hands the two big wáter tanks on his house.
I have seen that you have been working on your own logo, where you clearly put the accent on ESKRIDO, which I find very interesting. Can you tell us more about it?
Yes I am working on my Logo and Eskrido is the main concept because I want to explore more and focus only for Eskrido.
Also, just before confinement, have you been to the land where you were born, a region there in Cebu, any future project related to this GM John?
I went to visit my birthplace in South of Cebu Tubod Duguan,Dumanjug just before the confinement.The land área is about more than 30,000 square meter and just about 30-45minutes away by car from a beach resort. I went there because I would like to open it for Business and look for partnership because my parents and the siblings are planning to sell this property. And for me it will be heart breaking if it happens.
Speaking of a slightly more technical aspect, recently you have uploaded a very interesting video about the HAYANG-KULOB concept, could you talk a little more about this important strategy in close range?
Hayang-Kulob of the lefthand is very important in terms of controlling your opponents weapons hand in a close quarter eskrima sparring.Once you can control your opponents hand holding the weapon , you can easily execute eskrido and other disarming techniques.
Now I am going to a few ideas that I am interested in knowing about a Master of your level:
Eskrima is for everyone or an Eskrima practitioner must have something in particular.
Eskrima is for everyone but also an Eskrima Practitioner must have something in particular discipline, perseverance,endurance, strength, focus and eagerness to explore more the art in eskrido and disarming techniques in particular.
What do you value most in a student who approaches your way of understanding Eskrido?
What I value most in a student who approaches my way of understanding Eskrido is the love and passion for the art because if these two are present then all the other characteristic will follow.
What skills do you think a fighter should have?
If the fighter can perform a combative ART with out hurting or harming his opponent I would say that he is in another level of skills.
A few years ago, SGM Cacoy left, leaving a legacy impossible to compare. How is the health of Cacoy Eskrima after this time?
Through the effort of the Canete family and the officers the club is thriving and improving.
Has much changed without Manong Cacoy’s direction?
It changed a lot in a way that we could not witness an advance techniques demonstration, In a way that we lost the bonding of some skillful Masters and Grandmasters because they themselves have not much energy to come for training.
What is the first thing you plan to do after this pandemic madness passes?
After this Pandemic madness passes my first plan is to thank God the creator then I love to visit my parents, relatives and Friends.
By the time you get back here to Europe and of course to Spain? Oddly enough, because of the beatings you give me, I’m already missing our Sparring sessions a lot.
Any future plans that we can know?
I might visit Europe in a short period of time only. But after my Visa was disapproved from last time, I am hoping I could get a Visa this time to enter europe.
Where can people follow your work?
People can follow and support my work through contacting me in Facebook or through email. I have already a group of people and individuals extend their help by paying me when I send them coaching Eskrima videos online while I am here in the Philippines.
Thank you very much from us, we hope that this does not continue for a long time, that the confinement is finished and we can return to do a bit of sparring with a partner without fear of a virus more than the sticks.